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Luther Seminary's Bible Q & A

Bible Reading Tip: Responding to Evil & Suffering - Terence Fretheim

Weyden Deposition (detail)"Faced with the realities of suffering and evil, Christians can say something, but they cannot say everything or even as much as they might like to say."

That's how Terence Fretheim, Luther Seminary professor emeritus of Old Testament, leads off his article on God, evil, and suffering. 

Fretheim provides biblical perspectives in response to the theological approach offered by Paul Sponheim, Luther Seminary professor emeritus of Systematic Theology. (Read Sponheim's essay.) 

Fretheim cites

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Job: Friendship and Suffering - Dan Simundson

The late Dan Simundson, professor emeritus of Old Testament at Luther Seminary, talks about the role that Job's friends play in accompanying (or exacerbating) his suffering.

"Their intentions were good," said Dr. Simundson. "Their remorse and their compassion were genuine ... But as for many well-intentioned comforters, when they began to speak they were not always helpful. The words that they said were even sometimes rather hurtful. People can say harmful things even though they mean to be good

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Why Do We Suffer? - Kathryn Schifferdecker

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Podcast discussion with Eric Barreto, Cameron Howard, and Kathryn Schifferdecker. Article written by Kathryn Schifferdecker.

"Lamentation," Giotto di Bondone.Why do people suffer? It’s a question as old as the Bible (or older) and as current as today’s newspaper. Someone we love dies. A child is abused or neglected. A tornado wipes out a whole town. And we ask, "Why? Why do people suffer?"

The atheist has no real problem here. Why do people suffer? Because that’s the way life is. Chance, circumstance, luck, whatever

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